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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hardcore [Blu-ray]


(Paul Schrader, 1979)


Coming out in the US, in late March 2018:


Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006

Spine #008 Spine #010 Spine #012 Spine #013 Spine #019 Spine #020


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time  / Indicator (UK)



Region: FREE (both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:47:40.328 / 1:47:41.079

Disc Size: 32,622,190,959 bytes / 42,222,414,822 bytes

Feature Size: 32,238,428,160 bytes / 35,972,361,600 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 37.63 Mbps

Chapters: 24 / 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: August, 2016 / May 22nd, 2017


Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1785 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1785 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1655 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1655 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1848 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1848 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1947 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1947 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)


LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Guardian Interview:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Isolated Score:

LPCM Audio Undetermined 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English (SDH), None



Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Paul Schrader
Audio Commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo
Isolated Score Track
• Trailer (1:21)

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 Copies!

Hardcore Nitzsche (2017, 22:25): All new documentary on composer Jack Nitzsche
Michael Chapman on 'Hardcore' (2004): the acclaimed cinematographer discusses his work on Hardcore (9:06)
The Guardian Interview with Paul Schrader (1993): the director discusses his career at the National Film Theatre, London with journalist Derek Malcolm (audio only)
Isolated score
Original theatrical trailer (1:21)
Image gallery (23 images)
Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by critic and writer Brad Stevens 
Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies




1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


Description: Writer-director Paul Schrader’s brilliant, horrifying Hardcore (1979) follows the grim pilgrimage of a Calvinist Midwestern businessman (the great George C. Scott) searching for his vanished daughter in the scuzzy subculture of the West Coast porn industry. In his effort to trace the girl, he joins forces with a young hooker (Season Hubley) he hopes will help; their growing emotional relationship is the beating heart of this harrowing film. Shot by Michael Chapman, and with a score by Jack Nitzsche.



The Film:

When Michigan businessman Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott) lets his teenage daughter go on a church trip to California, she never returns. Jake hires Los Angeles investigator Andy Mast (Peter Boyle) to look for her, and Mast turns up a pornographic film she's recently appeared in. Both stunned and increasingly disappointed with the police, Jake travels to California where he poses as an adult-film producer in hopes of finding someone who's seen his little girl

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Schrader tackled Middle American dilemmas with eloquence in the radical Blue Collar, and he had touched on incest and child sexuality in scripts like Obsession and Taxi Driver. Hardcore stakes out similar ground: the pre-teen daughter of Midwesterner Scott disappears from a Calvinist youth camp, then surfaces in a porn film. And Scott gets things off to a titanic start as we voyeuristically watch his agony when confronted with a porn movie of his own daughter. But credibility wavers when he impersonates a seedy producer with suspicious ease, then forms a sentimental detective partnership with a whore (Hubley). The action meanders around to a hackneyed end, and because Hardcore is softcore, it doesn't convincingly convey that climate of self-hatred which pervades the sexual ghetto. It's a reminder, though, that the culturally respected cinema demands far gorier, more inventive and more technically accomplished depictions of sexual violence than the flesh flicks.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Hardcore comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The 1.85:1 visuals are solid exhibiting good texture and a strong film-like presence. Contrast has some decent layering and colors look true and fairly tight in the HD transfer. It looks quite consistent in-motion with no damage or speckles.  I see no evidence of manipulation or noise. This Blu-ray gives a consistently excellent presentation - probably as good as it will get for this film.


Predictably - no differences at all - another 4K restored transfer from Indicator. Image quality in the static captures is identical. The Indicator has the more technically robust transfer and this may show up in-motion to the very discerning eye. Otherwise another fabulous representation of this penetrating, harrowing, film.





1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1785 kbps (24-bit) sounds clean with a few richer moments in pushing the film's modest requirements for the limited effects and depth. It sounds excellent. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Indicator, again, go liner PCM - original mono 24-bit - and it sounds as solid as the Twilight Time. The score by Jack Nitzsche (The Crossing Guard, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Personal Best, 9 1/2 Weeks) benefits and is augmented by pieces by Mink DeVille, Susan Raye, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Buck Owens etc. There is an optional isolated Score and English (SDH) subtitle options and the disc is region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Twilight Time add two audio commentaries - the first with  Writer-Director Paul Schrader and a second with film historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo. Both are very rewarding. There is also the usual Isolated Score Track option, and an original theatrical trailer. The package has some liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 copies.


No commentaries on the Indicator but some good extras, regardless. Hardcore Nitzsche is a new, 22-minute, documentary on composer Jack Nitzsche with input from many musicians, directors and colleagues including William Friedkin, Miloš Forman, Ry Cooder, Buffy Sainte Marie and others. Michael Chapman on 'Hardcore' is a 10-minuite piece from 2004 where the acclaimed cinematographer discusses his work on Hardcore. We get the audio-only Guardian Interview with Paul Schrader from 1993 where the director discusses his career at the National Film Theatre, London with journalist Derek Malcolm. Indicator also include an isolated score option for the film's music, an original theatrical trailer and an image gallery. The package contains both a second disc DVD and a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by critic and writer Brad Stevens. There are only 3,000 copies available.



Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


Hardcore is a very strongly expressed film - kudos, as usual, to Scott - and can be uncomfortable, if not disturbing, at times. It explores a less-seen subject matter in a very frank expression.  The Twilight Time Blu-ray provides as good an a/v transfer for the film as we're likely to get and further value with the commentaries, isolated score and liner notes. It's an excellent package of an intense and intriguing film experience - overall highly entertaining and certainly recommended!


Indicator, essentially, offer the same a/v presentation and some different extras with their documentaries, Guardian interview, booklet and DVD. This is a powerful film elevating it to a must-see experience. UK residents should snap this up before it goes OOP (out-of-print.)  

Gary Tooze

September 1st, 2016

May 16th, 2017


Coming out in the US, in late March 2018:


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze





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